Umphrey’s McGee with Spafford
in Los Angeles and San Diego
Which came first, St. Patty’s Day or Umphrey’s McGee in So Cal? They always seem to go together and this year was no different as the Prog-Jammers from Chicago, IL closed out their 2017 West Coast Tour in Los Angeles on Saturday night and put a big ol exclamation point on it on Sunday in San Diego, CA. This tour found the UM guys supported by Arizona’s own, Spafford.
Umphrey’s McGee: Saturday night in Los Angeles, CA
Saturday night in LA at the Wiltern brought what the LA crowd has come to expect from Umphrey’s…a heavy rockin’ show. Starting out strong and heavy for the first set, the band kept that vibe throughout the whole set, clearly (as they often do in LA) playing tribute to the energy of the Sunset Strip and closed with a Ocean Billy.
Set two, however, took a different direction and gave the crowd a more jammy set of music including a set closing fan favorite of “Let’s Dance” by David Bowie. A familiar and popular “In The Kitchen” encore sent everyone home with a smile on their face.
03.18.2017 The Wiltern Theater, Los Angeles, CA
Set 1: You Got the Wrong Guy > Remind Me, Cemetery Walk, Nemo, Room to Breathe, Made to Measure > Ocean Billy
Set 2: The Triple Wide > Mulche’s Odyssey, August > Rocker Part 2, Higgins, Let’s Dance*
Encore: In The Kitchen
Never Miss A Sunday Show
You know what they say, “Never miss a Sunday show.” It’s been true for a long time and still holds true as the UM guys brought the heat on Sunday night in San Diego. Like the polar opposite of Saturday night, Umphrey’s brought the jammy-ness early on Sunday night breaking out with the dance rock “Bad Friday” and just kept that energy going until closing the first set with a glorious version of “Reelin’ in the Years” by Steely Dan.
Second set opened with JaJunk>Cut the Cable and from there on out we got a delicious course of rockin’ UM. Andrew Johnson from Spafford joined them on keys for Example 1. The night rocked on and truly brought the house down and closed the tour on a high note with an encore of Hajimemashite>JaJunk putting a nice tight bow on set 2 and the tour.
03.19.2017 The Observatory North Park, San Diego, CA, USA
Set 1: Bad Friday, Walletsworth, Preamble > Mantis Ghetts > Mantis, Example 1#> Mantis, Draconian, Reelin’ in the Years@
Set 2: JaJunk > Cut the Cable> Dump City, Call to Arms, Slacker, Miami Virtue > Eat, 1348
Encore: Hajimemashite > JaJunk
# with Andrew “Red” Johnson on keyboards
Speaking of Spafford. I’ve seen them a few times. Certainly not enough to know songs by name or even all the band members names. Brian Moss and company have really come a long way since the first time I saw them open for Quactus at the Las Vegas Country Saloon for “Freako De Mayo Festival” many years ago. They certainly brought their A game both nights. I congratulate them on their success and look forward to seeing them grow from here.